I am a Christian.

I don’t talk about it much here but it’s not because I’m hiding it. No. Never. Never ever. It is an integral part of who I am. I have had a few zealots over the years scold me for not having (what they deemed to be) the required JPM’s (Jesus-per-minutes) and then the rest of you have backed me up and have said that my faith shines through in how I love my husband, my kids, my friends, my community members. I fail miserably, often, but I’m trying to do the best I can with what I’ve been given. I am completely imperfect and horribly flawed but I recognize that and I’m trying. Heck, I even apologize when I’m the one who has been wronged. I’m not sure it that is necessarily a Christian trait – it might be more of a Canadian trait – but, gosh. I sure have no qualms about saying sorry.

The thing about being a Christian in North America is that it means that people immediately lump you into a group of zealots who are preaching hell and damnation, or rapture predictions, or that you cannot dance, drink, listen to music, BREATHE without fearing the condemnation of God.

(Aside: In online discussions on the freelance side of things, if the Christianity topic comes up, I identify myself as one with this disclaimer: I am a Christian, but not the “hell and damnation” type. I’m the “Jesus loves you and I love you too” type.)

The Bible tells us that we should be prepared to be mocked for our faith and I get that. I also get frustrated that the North American (read: American) media chooses to focus on the small group of people whom do/say crazy things “in the name of God” because, well, it sells stories. I also get frustrated that it is perfectly PC for a small percentage of vocal North Americans to mock Christians (often and openly) based on that little group of people who are what I like to call extremists. Extremists in any other faith are given far more grace that extremists who claim to be Christians.

I do not agree with the Christian extremists, but that doesn’t mean I mock them. They have their beliefs and while I do not believe that they are correct I choose simply to agree to disagree. Just like I choose to agree to disagree with the tenets of so many other faiths. Or agnostics. Or atheists. We are supposed to be living in a tolerant society and I do my best to live that way. I only ask that the same grace be extended to me. It won’t likely happen but a girl can hope.

Christianity, as perceived by many in North America: An angry God, who is standing there with His arms crossed, waiting for you to drink, swear, lie, dance or do one hundred and ninety-nine other things so that HE MIGHT SMITE YOU WITH A LIGHTNING BOLT.

Christianity, per the Bible: God created humans for companionship. They decided they were smarter than their Creator and decided to go their own way. God missed having a relationship with the people He created. He sent Jesus to Earth to set people free from the Law and to come back into a close relationship with Him.

Jesus, as perceived by many in North America: Quite similar to the angry God mentioned above, but with a golden mane and blue eyes (interesting, as He was Jewish) who hung out with sheep and had a golden aura around His head.

Jesus, per the Bible: A short guy, who was not particularly attractive. He was a guy who told stories and hung out with the “sinners” (the types of people that the Extremists shun these days). He made wine for weddings and fed five thousand people and healed women who were “unclean” and preached a Gospel that was about loving others, as you would want to be loved. About not judging, lest you be judged. About getting angry (turning tables at the Temple) when religious folks were trying to make a profit from those who believed in God. About laying your life down for your friends.

I could go on forever (and ever)(maybe an “Ask a Christian” post ala Metalia’s “ask a Jew” series is in order).

This past week, because of that whole Rapture-prediction-deal in the States, I have felt particularly accosted. I would open up Facebook or Twitter and there was joke after joke (after joke after joke) mocking the God I believe in and the Jesus I believe in, too. It felt like a slap in the face every single time.

I do not believe what I believe because I have been “brainwashed” by my family. I did not grow up in a Christian home, going to church and Sunday school. Far from it. I have always believed in God but did not know how the pieces fell together until I was thirteen. It is a story for another day but I can tell you that everything became clear. I am an analytical being, who excelled in science and math (and who is an accountant) and I did not rest on the fact that I always believed. I have researched and have studied and believe that what I believe is the truth.

You may not believe as I do and may disagree with me but can we just agree to disagree? When you mock the God who formed me and mock His Son who has made me a new person, it is just as though you are saying those same words to me. It hurts my heart.

Christians are people, too.

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Comments:

  1. JennyBean May 24, 2011 3:12 am edit

    I understand your frustration; it’s difficult to be a Christian and get lumped together with the minority who make the rest of us look crazy. I kind of just take it as a sign that we must be doing something right.

    I always appreciate the way you express your faith, that you aren’t overbearing but you don’t hide your beliefs, either. From living in the USA once upon a time, I definitely felt that Christians tended to segment their faith into a weekend hobby, whereas it really should be a lifestyle and touch every part of our lives; I love that You live that out and I can see your faith shining through in every part of your life.

    Thanks for being vulnerable. :)

    1. angella May 24, 2011 8:20 pm edit

      Thanks for being so encouraging. :)

  2. Hannah May 24, 2011 4:12 am edit

    Amen, lady! Love this post. Could have written it myself (apart from the references to being Canadian).

    It definitely hurts to see/hear people mocking my God, especially lately. But at the end of the day, I am glad that God doesn’t need me to defend his reputation.

    1. angella May 24, 2011 8:21 pm edit

      I loved! your post today. I linked to it below and I really hope that people read it. It fleshes out my thoughts a bit more. :)

  3. Jenny May 24, 2011 7:20 am edit

    I LOVE this. It always bothers me to see writing out there that says ” . . . and this is why I don’t believe in God” because the God-lovers are crazy/cruel/judgmental.

    It’s a heavy subject and one that not many are willing to tread into, or even WANT to hear the other side, and I think that makes it easier to joke about or mock, but just as much as others don’t want me to force Christianity down their throats, I don’t want to be mocked and made a fool of because I believe.

    1. angella May 24, 2011 8:22 pm edit

      Yes! That.

      It is a sensitive topic, and I was hesitant to hit publish, but I’m glad I did. :)

  4. patty May 24, 2011 7:42 am edit

    Good Job!
    My frustration over this whole end of the world thing was that people who don’t know the truth didn’t know what to believe.
    I had a lady at work ask me all kinds of questions because she just didn’t know. I had a chance to shine a little truth into her that day, but in the end is she closer to the Truth?

    1. angella May 24, 2011 8:23 pm edit

      I sure hope so.

      You just keep on loving her and who knows where God will take that?

  5. Ashley May 24, 2011 8:27 am edit

    There are so many who feel being mocked (read: extremists) is how they “know” they are being effective. That they are thus becoming martyrs for a greater cause and this gives them a greater place in heaven. My mother in law and her newest husband are no exception (they and the way they perceive Christianity is another crazy and slightly scary story of it’s own). They believe that the best way to show someone the blessing of God is to smack them in the head with a Bible while simultaneously “speaking tongues”, swaying as they pray and barring the door to prevent said person from leaving. And it’s this behaviour that not only is ineffective but destructive no matter how good the intentions. I wish I were kidding….

    And we disagree. I believe that while there is a time and a place (like here and now) to share the love of Jesus, the message of Salvation and peace that comes with a personal relationship with God, there is also a large time and place to just be. To just witness with our actions, to show Jesus in our love and to committed to praying for those who don’t believe. Because in the end, the salvation of anyone else, including our children, doesn’t rest on our shoulders. It’s 100% God’s job and his mission, we’re just open to being his tools and HIS children – who aren’t perfect and just simply can’t do everything right because we aren’t God.

    What a great post and well said.

    1. angella May 24, 2011 8:25 pm edit

      This?

      “Because in the end, the salvation of anyone else, including our children, doesn’t rest on our shoulders. It’s 100% God’s job and his mission, we’re just open to being his tools and HIS children – who aren’t perfect and just simply can’t do everything right because we aren’t God.”

      YES. Exactly. Thanks, Ashley. :)

  6. suzy May 24, 2011 8:28 am edit

    ah-greed. the whole rapture weekend was a weird weekend for me too–i hated being lumped together with the people who were so adamant that Jesus was coming back THAT DAY FOR SURE; i was definitely not one of them. but i AM a Christian, which made me the butt of a lot of jokes that day and every day since. i’m not too worked up about it, but it is kind of weird how “tolerance” is the word of the century when it comes to every race, religion, and life-style choice EXCEPT Christianity.

    1. angella May 24, 2011 8:26 pm edit

      Right? Others get mocked, too, for sure. It all needs to stop. We are not to judge, but to love. God will work out the details.

  7. kakaty May 24, 2011 8:37 am edit

    From my American standpoint, I don’t find that people lump Christians in with zealots. I believe that most people roll their eyes at the extremists (except for the media who gives them airtime). Unfortunately in the US – a country founded on freedom of religion – many tenets of Christianity have been made into law which some then use as a foothold to try to impose their own definition of Christianity on the entire population. This has led to the label of “Christian” taking on the context of “I’m morally superior to you so I can tell you how to live your life”. While I think the vast majority of people, like you, just try to quietly live a good life guided by Judeo-Christian beliefs, it’s the overwhelming sense of “we must save you from yourself” that has many people speaking out against Christianity.

    But “Extremists in any other faith are given far more grace that extremists who claim to be Christians” I have to strongly disagree with. Because during the last 11 years I have known many Muslims who have had to hide their faith for fear of their lives, their livelihood and their home – all due to extremists in their religion. And I’m pretty certain that Harold Camping, Terry Jones and the like haven’t driven many Christians to fear for their lives.

    1. angella May 24, 2011 9:33 am edit

      I’m sorry – I guess I didn’t articulate it right. I meant that they are given grace from the type of mocking that Christianity gets. We seem to be the only faith that it is “PC” to mock, openly and often. I wasn’t referring to people who have been victimized, at all. Sorry that it came across that way.

      1. jonniker May 24, 2011 3:58 pm edit

        It’s OK to mock openly and often because Christians are the overwhelming majority. It’s the same way it’s OK to mock white people. When a group is the overwhelming (and sometimes oppressive) majority, it’s generally like that, and in large part because there IS a faction of that group that’s trying to influence our politics. There are a thousand arguments to be made why it is and isn’t “right,” but it’s the same black/white clarity that is why white people can be openly snickered at (Stuff White People Like), while a similar effort against a minority would be oppressive and deeply offensive.

        The other side is that Christianity has a dark history of … not so great things done in the name of the church, so I’m inclined to agree with Nic in that much of the mockery comes from the inside, not on the outside.

        As for what Katy said, I agree, but I’ll add that it’s anti-Semitism that I am most struck by. I’m amazed at the number of comments/assumptions made in an open, mocking manner about and to Jewish people over simple things. When I mentioned I was attending a bris, I received no fewer than six jokes about what I should wear (a raincoat!), offhanded comments about how cruel it was, etc. etc. And it was done by people we all know, but I’ll bet a lot of people didn’t notice.

        I saw someone make a comment to a Jewish person about how they are exactly alike, because THEY, TOO, like bagels and lox! Now, if you think that’s harmless, imagine that same comment being made to a black person about watermelon and grape soda and see if you still think so.

        These things happen every day. Every. Day. On Twitter, on Facebook, in person. Every day. And no one says anything — in fact, a lot of the same people who probably agree with you here have stood by and watched those comments happen without even realizing what was said and why it was wrong or offensive.

        And by the way, Jewish people can be light-colored, too :-D The reason it’s a surprise that he’s viewed as light-skinned, golden-haired and blue-eyed has to do with his ethnicity and part of the world, not his religious beliefs.

        1. angella May 24, 2011 4:16 pm edit

          Ha! I know that (obviously). I should have said he was a Nazarene Jew. When I speak about Jesus and the Bible, I’m picturing that time and place. :)

          This:

          “I saw someone make a comment to a Jewish person about how they are exactly alike, because THEY, TOO, like bagels and lox! Now, if you think that’s harmless, imagine that same comment being made to a black person about watermelon and grape soda and see if you still think so. ”

          Made me realize once again that there is such a great divide between Canada and the US. I only know about bagels and lox because of TV – Ali and I had a great chat when I was in Toronto about how aside from Vancouver, the bulk of the Canadian Jewish population is out East. Until I got to know and meet Jewish blogging ladies, I had no idea about their culture, because I grew up where there were no Jewish families. And as for the “watermelon and grape soda” comment I…have no idea what that means.

          This is not to say that I haven’t been witness to racism – we have a large First Nation population that seems to be the target of it up here. I don’t like it when it happens to anyone, and have even written posts in the past about it.

          And I agree with you that people think it’s OK to mock Christians because there are so many of them, but it doesn’t mean I cringe any less when the God and Jesus I believe in are mocked. It may be PC, but you’re right. It’s not right. And it hurts my feelings and it felt good to say so. :)

        2. jonniker May 24, 2011 4:25 pm edit

          The watermelon/grape soda thing is a completely and utterly offensive stereotype about what African Americans like to eat/drink. It may be an (awful) American thing.

  8. kathleen May 24, 2011 8:51 am edit

    not sure if someone else has pointed you to this already, but i think it’s so close to this feeling you’re describing:
    http://www.theawl.com/2011/05/%E2%80%9Cspirit-of-god-descend-upon-my-heart%E2%80%9D

    i don’t share your beliefs, but i do share your concern for taking each others’ beliefs seriously.

    1. angella May 24, 2011 4:23 pm edit

      Thanks for sharing that post, Kathleen. It seriously brightened my day. (I can’t comment on it, because I don’t have an account.)

      Thanks again. I hope others read it. :)

      1. kathleen May 26, 2011 6:00 pm edit

        glad you liked it. I think more posts like yours and his- sensitive but also honest and unflinching- are a very very good thing.

  9. steph May 24, 2011 9:37 am edit

    Oh man! I love, LOVE, LOOOOOVE this post!

    Thank you, Angella! Sometimes it’s super hard to be a Christian, it seems that so many are antagonistic towards Christianity/biblical living/Jesus. And then I remember all that He endured for me, for us…

    I have a hard time articulating how much Jesus means to me. But, I do wish the world would know (and WANT to know) just how cool of a dude, how countercultural Jesus was. He respected women in a time when they were marginalized (the first feminist?), He LOVED the outcasts, the inconvenient, the broken. And most of all, He gave the ultimate gift, Himself, for each of us!

    Alright, I’m done. :) Again, thanks for being awesome! <3

    1. angella May 24, 2011 8:27 pm edit

      Thank YOU for being awesome! I love how you pointed out how countercultural He was. Because He is AWESOME. :)

  10. ememby May 24, 2011 10:17 am edit

    Very well-said. It is frustrating how it’s perfectly acceptable to mock Christianity and lump Christians all together in one category, when people as a whole (and Christians as a part of that whole) are all so completely different. We respect people’s choices in other things, whether we agree with them or not, why can’t we offer the same respect and acceptance in matters of faith?
    So just thank you for saying it.

    1. angella May 24, 2011 8:28 pm edit

      Thank you for encouraging me.

      *fist bump*

  11. heidikins May 24, 2011 10:25 am edit

    Thank you for writing this post, as a member of a Christian religion that is openly and widely mocked ALL. THE. TIME. I can absolutely relate with this. I refuse to talk religion on my blog at all because it’s something dear and sacred to me, and the Interwebs tend to openly mock anything sacred. I don’t want any part of that, and I certainly don’t want it in my cyber front-room.

    I think you always come across as devout and humble and not at all preachy or extreme. I like it, actually. I wish I could get the same point across on my own blog, unfortunately, I happen to belong to an easily mockable sect, and it’s not worth the risk.

    Thank you again for writing this.
    xox

    1. angella May 24, 2011 8:30 pm edit

      Thanks for being YOU, Heidi. You are real and you are genuine and I really hope people reading this read YOU.

      Thank you for your continual encouragement and for introducing me to Kiersten. Your love shines, lady. It shines. :)

  12. Rebecca May 24, 2011 10:30 am edit

    Beautifully written. Agree on all counts. :)

    1. angella May 24, 2011 8:31 pm edit

      :)

  13. Nic May 24, 2011 11:02 am edit

    I am a Christian as well. I have to say, in last week, I saw a great deal of American commentary on Christianity and I wasn’t offended by it, I was too annoyed with Harold Camping and his Family Radio followers. What I notice most here is there’s a small but very vocal contingent of so-called-Christians who like nothing more than to be on TV, proclaiming their views and alienating people. People protest at funerals, propose legislation, publicly shame people and go on media rampages saying it’s all in the name of Christ.

    Christ didn’t do that.

    These are the folks who kept me from being a Christian because I didn’t want to be associated with such dramatic hypocrisy and alienation and just the downright MEANNESS of people. In becoming a Christian it was really, really hard for me to manage these images with really seeing and understanding the gospel. I still often need to clarify that yes, I’m a Christian but I’m not one of THOSE Christians.

    So no, I’m not angry with the mocking. I’m angry with the people who have worked very hard to make a mockery of the faith from the inside and are keeping people from the love of Christ in doing so. Most of all, I’m sorry, SO SORRY, for the people the church has hurt and alienated and exploited. That’s not what it’s about.

    1. kakaty May 24, 2011 1:40 pm edit

      As a no-longer-Church-going Christian I have to agree with this 100%. I didn’t see anyone mocking Christianity, God or Jesus but mocking of those “make a mockery of the faith from the inside” – that is perfectly said.

    2. angella May 24, 2011 3:33 pm edit

      I agree with you 100%, Nic. It hurts my heart to see people hurt by the church. How church is played out often in today’s world looks nothing like how church (and Jesus) was in the Bible. I’m sorry that you’ve had to experience it first hand but I’m glad you were able to separate the wheat from the chaff. :)

      (For the record, I’ve been simmering on this post for months. I only heard about the whole Family Radio deal last week…I’ve been struggling with the open mockery of Christianity for, oh, ever. Some of the hurtful words I read this weekend finally pushed me to sit down and write this.)

  14. Elaine May 24, 2011 1:15 pm edit

    I am a Christian but I am also Catholic. We are lumped into an WHOLE different category here in the U.S. as well. Shoot, some people are ignorant enough to think we aren’t even Christians. EEK!

    I personally do not think that (most) people were mocking God and Christ themselves whilst “making fun” of the concept of the Rapture business this weekend. I believe they were mocking those who so foolishly thought they would have ANY idea when that miraculous event would take place.

    Good post. I’m glad you put your whole Christian self out there Angella. Good for you.

    1. angella May 24, 2011 8:33 pm edit

      Thanks, friend.

      I went to a legalistic church for a bit as a teenager and they basically shunned any other denomination. I hate that I was taught that.

      I know you, and your faith shines through. Keep on keeping on. :)

  15. Carrie May 24, 2011 2:35 pm edit

    Your (and my) grandma is smiling today. She would have loved this. *hugs*

    1. angella May 24, 2011 8:34 pm edit

      YOU MADE ME CRY.

      :)

      Hugs back atcha, cousin.

      1. Carrie May 25, 2011 8:08 am edit

        I think you would have enjoyed talking to her about these things. She was very wise and secure in her Christianity, her faith in her God was absolute.

        I remember when she wrote to me during the first Gulf War, she gave me her chapter and verse for that day. I had to go to the Padre so we could look it up and it was about courage. Ironic as it was later that year that she passed away. I will check my bible tonight and find it for you, I saved the little card and that’s where I keep it. It makes sense since she gave me the bible for my sixth birthday.

        She was one of the great ladies, she loved her grandchildren absolutely. And now I’m making me cry.

        1. angella May 25, 2011 9:17 am edit

          I read this to Matthew and, yep. Crying.

          Hugs.

  16. Dayna May 24, 2011 3:20 pm edit

    Hi Sis,
    I deal with this on a daily basis so hearing someone else with the same beliefs/opinion as me was really encouraging.

    1. angella May 24, 2011 8:35 pm edit

      Love you, Dayna-Belle.

      *ducks*

      :)

  17. hillary May 24, 2011 3:27 pm edit

    This is a beautifully written, well thought out post, Angella. Thanks for taking the time to share your viewpoint instead of taking the easy way out and burying your hurt.
    I’m not Christian, so I didn’t feel personally attacked. I just felt annoyed at the sheer volume of mockery that took place. It was bizarre and disappointing and just … unfunny.

    1. angella May 25, 2011 9:17 am edit

      I totally agree with the unfunny. Thanks for the encouraging words, friend. xoxo

  18. Neil May 24, 2011 3:55 pm edit

    That was a touching post, and I think it is great that you are so comfortable with your faith. The online community is a tough crowd, and tends to go too far — especially in joking — when there is buzz about a news item, such as the recent “rapture wait.” I know I made several jokes about it myself. I hope I never offended anyone. I didn’t even think of this episode as having anything to do with Christianity or any religion, but someone who was clearly arrogant (or looking to make some money) by placing a date on the final day.

    1. angella May 25, 2011 9:19 am edit

      I hear you. I mentioned in a comment above that I have been simmering on this post for a long time now. I hadn’t even heard about the Family Radio people until last week. All of the comments I was seeing just prompted me to finally sit down and write it.

      Thanks, Neil. :)

  19. Mrs. Wilson May 24, 2011 5:55 pm edit

    Well said. I may or may not have joked about it (Will my parents get here before the world ends?) (If you see a zombie, head north! They don’t like the cold!) and I’m sorry if any of those were offensive. (Seriously.) (Not being passive-aggressive here.)

    Great post, lady.

    1. jonniker May 24, 2011 7:51 pm edit

      Errr, I totally joked about it. With my terrifyingly right-wing evangelical mother. I don’t mean to be flip, but I MOST DEFINITELY think the idea of Rapture itself is highly mockable in this context, and if it isn’t, well, I … I don’t know where to go here. I have a sense of humor about the most ridiculous aspects of things I believe, say and do and I like people who feel the same. I like to think (hope?) that Angella was talking about more broad brush strokes against Christianity as a whole, rather than the idea of this particular wackadoo’s Rapture visions, because I will maintain until the day I am left behind that those are hilarious and utterly ridiculous, apart and distinct from any ties to any particular religion.

      I think this comment just officially puts me out of the running for the rescheduled October 21 Rapture, right?

      1. jonniker May 24, 2011 7:54 pm edit

        By the way, my mother doesn’t believe in dancing or gambling and is TOTALLY FOOTLOOSE up in here. She is a Bible literalist TO THE LETTER. So I like to think (hope?) that if EVEN SHE can laugh at the idea of this particular Rapture — and the jokes my sister and I were making when we couldn’t get in touch with her around the 6 p.m. hour — that it’s somewhat universally hilarious.

        1. angella May 24, 2011 8:12 pm edit

          That is! funny. We make Rapture jokes sometimes if we can’t locate someone. :)

          I *was* just talking about about the broad strokes against Christianity as a whole. While I do believe in God and in Jesus and that Jesus is coming back, I don’t agree with what the guy (looks through comments to find his name) Mr. Camping said and did. I like to believe that he started out with good intentions, regardless of what happened after that.

          My friend Hannah in NZ nailed it:

          “I think Mr Camping is wrong. I did not for one second believe his prediction that the world would end last Saturday. I think he has lost his way, big time.

          However.

          I believe in the same God as Mr Camping.We obviously interpret some parts of the bible quite differently, like the verse in Matthew 24 which says, “However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows”. ”

          http://blairsboys.wordpress.com/2011/05/25/fool-for-you/

          Kathleen above linked to a great post as well.

          http://www.theawl.com/2011/05/%E2%80%9Cspirit-of-god-descend-upon-my-heart%E2%80%9D

          Not everyone is trying to make money or trying to lead people astray. There are a lot of people who were hoping to leave the struggles of this life behind for something better. I am saddened that they, too, were hurt by someone who did and said things “in the name of God.”

          SIGH.

  20. moosh in indy. May 24, 2011 7:32 pm edit

    I’m so proud that I get to breathe the same air as you. I know we’ve had our disagreements but it really does just come down to loving each other, because that is what Jesus would want us to do.
    And what Neil said, I don’t think a lot of people realize the offense and hurt in their jokes, but it takes a cool, level headed person like you (and I would hope me) to bring to light that sometimes things said in innocence can cause hurt without making people defensive.
    While the Internet can be a venue for idiots, it also gives people the chance to better understand each other like never before if they keep their hearts and minds open.
    I adore you.
    xoxo

    1. angella May 25, 2011 9:20 am edit

      I adore you, friend. Thanks for this – you totally warmed my heart. xoxo

  21. ChrisB May 24, 2011 9:14 pm edit

    I confess (meh!) that I was one of the rapture mockers last week (as you probably know). And hope you realize that although I am not a believer, my comments were solely directed at extremism at its worst. I will continue to be outspoken against any kind of extremism. I came to the States because I love this country more than I loved the country I grew up in, the day I became a citizen was one of the proudest days of my life, even though I had to denounce my German citizenship that day as Germany did not allow dual citizenship at the time. America has always stood for freedom and liberty, and yes, that should include extremism, which is fine just as long as it does not intrude into the lives of others. My grandparents and parents experienced first hand how a “fringe” group could take over a whole country with extremist views because not enough people spoke up soon enough. And it all started with one guy. Which is how it always starts. You just need a compelling argument and enough disappointed minds to follow suit.
    I don’t ever want that to happen in this country but when the Texas Board of Education decides to rewrite history for our school children, when diversity education is cut out of school curricula, when evolution is no longer to be taught, when we are only to be a (white) Christian nation and start hating other religious groups, people with different skin color, people of different sexual orientation, that’s where it stops for me.
    Becoming an American citizen was one of the best experiences of my life, meeting a group of born again Christians while in college was one of the worst. I was harassed to the point that I needed campus security to take me to the car at night. Intolerance is a terrible thing no matter who the offending party is and unfortunately I have only experienced intolerance from individuals who call themselves Christians.
    Much love

    1. angella May 25, 2011 11:37 pm edit

      Much love to you, Chris.

      I am so sorry for what you experienced. I cannot imagine being on the receiving end of such harassment, not can I imaging even thinking that such behavior at all exemplified the love that we are taught in the Bible.

      I am so sorry that people who claim to be followers of Jesus inflicted such terror. That is the antithesis of the message of the Bible and it makes me angry (like Jesus got angry and turned over tables) when people mess up the message.

      Hugs, friend. I’m always here if you want to talk about it. :)

  22. Nell May 25, 2011 11:15 am edit

    Amen. Just that I guess.
    I too am a Christian and believe what you do. I think the deal last week just makes it so much harder to be one of “those” people who believe in the Rapture. I do believe in the Rapture but I also believe the verse that says No one KNOWS the time! I find it hard to listen to that fool says that kind of thing and it breaks my heart to see people wreck their lives to follow him. What disappointment for them to have spent their life savings, maxed out credit cards, given up jobs, etc to follow a flawed human being!
    Anyway, just Amen! Well, spoken and bravely too! I have a huge post that I have been stewing about for a long time that will head down this road a bit I’m afraid and I just need to. do. it.!!

    1. angella May 25, 2011 11:38 pm edit

      Do it! And let me know. :)

      I’m with you. While I don’t agree with what he preached, I feel so bad for the honest people who believed him. Sigh.

  23. rachel joy May 25, 2011 1:57 pm edit

    I first heard about “the end of the world” from 3 moms at school who are a part of a different, minority, faith and culture. They seemed surprised that I wasn’t in the loop! Another Christian mom with me hadn’t heard about it either. They thought it was kind of funny that they knew before we did. I hope it showed them that not all “Christians” are alike. I haven’t thought too much about it since then – especially with my boy’s 5th birthday to celebrate that day – but this post has made me think more about it.
    Thank you for the courage to write this post, and for – as always – being transparent about your thoughts, feelings and convictions. Great post!

    1. angella May 25, 2011 11:39 pm edit

      Thanks, Rachel. :)

      And happy 5th! to the two of you. :)

  24. Brittany May 25, 2011 9:18 pm edit

    Wow, AMAZING post, Angella… I’m so encouraged whenever you write about your faith because it encourages me in my own walk with Jesus. So glad we will get to hang out in Heaven together someday! :)

    Thanks for expressing what I’ve been feeling lately. I especially loved your point about how Christian extremists are NEVER cut as much slack as Muslim or atheist extremists. How is that fair? And we’re accused of being the “intolerant” ones because we call sin the dangerous thing it is. Crazy fallen world…

    Hey, have you been following Rob Bell and the whole controversy surrounding his book “Love Wins”? My publishing company is putting out a response book (appropriately titled “God Wins”), and I think you’d really like it. If you’d like a copy, I’ll send you one (gratis). :)

    It’s definitely an interesting time to be a Christian! May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ bless and strengthen you today, my friend. Hugs to you!

    1. angella May 25, 2011 11:42 pm edit

      Hugs to YOU, my friend! And thanks for the encouragement. :)

      I would LOVE the God wins book, if you want to send one. I downloaded Rob’s Love Wins book because I wanted to see for myself what the controversy is about. I have appreciated him since the Nooma days, but want to read for myself to see where he’s at now. I haven’t had any reading time (and probably won’t until July) but it would be great to read them back to back. :)

  25. JMH May 26, 2011 12:56 pm edit

    I Love this post!! I try not to push my beliefs on others, but often the remarks made on the Interent, about Christianity, can drag me down. This statement really hit home for me : Just like I choose to agree to disagree with the tenets of so many other faiths. Or agnostics. Or atheists. We are supposed to be living in a tolerant society and I do my best to live that way. I only ask that the same grace be extended to me. It won’t likely happen but a girl can hope.” I will try to remember that when I invite my family to my Church and they openly mock thigs during the service……:(

  26. Danica May 26, 2011 8:10 pm edit

    This was such a great post on so many levels. I had to read all the comments too, such a good discussion you get going on here. I love how you inspire honesty in people.
    It opened up a whole swack of emotions for me too. I don’t even know how to sort them out. I’m kind of used to mockery and misunderstanding. I came to Christ as an adult and no one in my family believes, so being ‘the weird religious one’ is my normal. I get funny looks, and odd silences.
    And then, within my church family, who I have grown to love as much as my earthly family, I get weird looks and odd silences when they find out I’m a feminist or that I study philosophy. I don’t understand why Christian women in particular hate feminism so much.
    On Saturday I was getting my hair done and there was so much mockery in the salon about the whole rapture thing. It made me really uncomfortable, and I found myself getting my back up, and then I realized that I agreed with what they were saying. I thought the whole thing was ridiculous too. But I still felt hurt by the mocking. I couldn’t decide how to feel in the situation. It was weird.
    I just try and be myself and not hide my faith (or my ‘weird’ feminist beliefs for that matter) and forget about what they all think. In my experience, if no one is arguing with you or making fun of you, you’re probably catering too much to popular opinion and not doing much of anything worthwhile with your life.

  27. bethany actually May 26, 2011 9:52 pm edit

    I was rather puzzled by the uproar about this particular rapture prediction, because this was definitely not the first one I’ve heard of in my life, and it won’t be the last. I bet it just kind of took off *because* of all the mocking on the internet.

    I understand what you’re saying, about why all those jokes and comments felt like slaps in the face. I’ve felt that at times, too, especially when people I love and respect insinuate that all Christians are unthinking sheep, or something similar. I wonder if they know I’m a Christian, which leads me to feel either ashamed that they don’t know, or hurt that they know and are making such comments in a public forum anyway. I guess what it comes down to is people often type and hit ‘publish’ without thinking.

    In any case, this is beautifully written and I’m proud of you for putting it out there. It’s not always easy to be open and vulnerable about one’s faith, I know.

  28. monstergirlee May 28, 2011 6:53 pm edit

    Hi, I am really late getting this post read on my reader but just had to come and say how much I appreciate this post, and you – as a Christian trying to live as a Christian without being judgmental or hypocritical. Thank you – and I’d give you a big HUG right now if I could.

    I’m a Catholic, and even tho we don’t “do” rapture, I too, was offended at the level of which the rapture was mocked. Can you imagine if Jewish beliefs, or Muslim beliefs, or Buddhist beliefs were mocked in this manner? Why is Christianity OK to mock? I know there are some really bad examples, but there are bad examples and abusers in every religion. But its still not OK to mock the whole thing just because of them. Sorry, you touched a nerve with that one. Don’t let a few bad apples spoil the whole thing. I’ll send my prayers to everyone who needs it, whether they are of my faith or not, whether they believe or not.
    You’re wonderful. Thank you for being Christian right here right out loud on the internet.

  29. Hilda May 30, 2011 8:15 pm edit

    okay I realize you have over 60 comments on here but I just gotta say thanks for this post. In particular this paragraph:
    “This past week, because of that whole Rapture-prediction-deal in the States, I have felt particularly accosted. I would open up Facebook or Twitter and there was joke after joke (after joke after joke) mocking the God I believe in and the Jesus I believe in, too. It felt like a slap in the face every single time.”

    That’s pretty much exactly how I felt/feel about it all and it’s really nice to hear that I’m not the only one.

  30. Kerri Anne June 1, 2011 12:26 pm edit

    I don’t really have anything to add to this discussion, and you already know my heart, but just wanted to say again: So proud of you for posting this, babe. I’m definitely oh so blessed by your outspokenness when it comes to (so many things, but especially) your faith.

  31. Nikita June 9, 2011 4:08 am edit

    If you believe in something..Shout it out laud and don’t be afraid of what people will say. Believe in you’r self and be strong! I am proud of you for posting this post!

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